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April 24, 2013


Cassoulets create fragrant, mouthwatering aromas and make a sumptuous meal. Originating in southern France, the casserole always contains meat, beans and herbs with many variations each having it's own personality.

To decrease the cooking and prep time use Bush's Best Beans

Serves 8-10
Prep time: 45 minutes
Total time: 2 hours


1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 allspice berries
  • 1/4 pound bacon, diced
  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 pound lamb ( I used a lamb shank)
  • 1/2 pound smoked pork sausage, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 pound duck breast, cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 teaspoons thyme, minced


    In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon cooking oil to medium high heat. Add onions and carrots and sauté until onions are translucent.

    Add allspice, bacon, garlic, tomato paste and diced tomatoes. Continue to cook until bacon is done. Remove allspice. Add beans to bacon mixture.

    Reduce heat to low and add bay leaf, lamb, sausage and duck and continue to cook on medium heat until duck is fully cooked at least 30 minutes. Add salt, pepper and thyme. Cook additional 15 minutes.

    Serve with baguette and a French red wine.

    Cooking Wiser:
    Cook in Slow Cooker; place in cooker after adding allspice, garlic, bacon, and tomatoes to beans. Cook on high for 2 hours.

    Wine Pairing:
    Each cassoulet requires its own wine pairing because they can have different flavor profiles.

    Try this recipe with a Syrah blend.
    At one of our wine dinners the cassoulet with paired with a French Syrah blend we brought back from France. It was a nice pairing.

    Posted by terri at 03:02 AM | Comments (0)

    April 23, 2013

    Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Blackberry Barbeque Sauce

    The sliders were layered with flavor. The first layer was the a dry rub for the pork. The sauce had just the right balance of sweet and heat. The wine pairing was a French Genache.

    Menue provided by Mac and Barbara
    Serves 8-10


  • 1 (2-3 pound) pork tenderloin
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 2 tablespoon ground black pepper (recommend bourbon-infused)
  • 1 tablespoon salt (recommend bourbon infused sea salt)
  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon paprika (recommend bourbon-infused smoked paprika)
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano


    In a small mixing bowl, combine all seasonings. Sprinkle tenderloin with mixture and rub in spices. Let rubbed meat sit at least 1 hour in refrigerator.

    Light grill (recommend also using bourbon barrel wood or Jack Daniel’s wood chips to help infuse additional flavor, your choice). Cook tenderloin turning halfway through cooking process. Using a meat thermometer, remove when internal temperature reaches 128F for rare to 150F for well done. Just about 10 to 15 degrees before removal, brush with Blackberry Barbeque Sauce all sides and grill to seal until desired temperature is reached.

    Black Berry Barbeque Sauce:


  • ½ cup blackberry preserves
  • 1½ cups ketchup
    1/8 cup packed brown sugar
    2 tablespoon Louisiana cane syrup
    1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    ¼ teaspoon mustard pepper
    2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
    ½ cup fresh blackberries (or frozen if not in season)


    In mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, mixing well. Set some sauce aside for serving, portion for grilling. Brush sauce over grilled tenderloins when almost cooked.

    Assembly for Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Blackberry Barbeque Sauce Sliders

    Package of dinner rolls
    Gouda Cheese slices
    Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Blackberry Barbeque Sauce

    Slice pork tenderloin into medallions. Slice a dinner roll in half and place slice of pork tenderloin on one half and Gouda cheese on other. Drizzle some of Blackberry Barbeque Sauce over pork and heat in oven until rolls are toasted and cheese begins to melt.

    Cooking Tips:

    This sauce can be used on pork chops or ribs. The blackberries and cane syrup add a slightly sweet, yet subtle flavor to pork. If you cannot find cane syrup, there are a couple of substitutes on the web.

    Pure cane syrup is a thick, amber-colored syrup made from the juice extracted from the sugar cane plant. It is a popular ingredient in desserts and candies as well as in many Creole and Caribbean dishes. Highly recommend using cane syrup, but it is hard to find in the local supermarkets (can be found on web). White granulated sugar is also made from sugar cane juice, making it a natural substitution for cane syrup. To substitute sugar for cane syrup, you first have to make a sugar syrup (also called simple syrup). One such recipe follows:

    2 quarts sugar

    1 quart water

    In a pot, mix the two together stir with a spoon. Once mixed, bring the pot to the stove and allow to boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Allow to cool.

    Posted by terri at 03:23 AM | Comments (0)

    Food and Wine Dinner Club

    French cooking is an art and the chef is the artist. The task is to prepare something wonderful to eat. The excellence of French cooking is really about technique and using the best ingredients available and our Food and Wine Dinner Club members have mastered the art of French cooking. As Julia would say, "the most important ingredient you can bring to it is love of cooking for its own sake".

    But obviously since our club is a Food and Wine dinner club it isn't all about the food. The wine is just as important. And French wine is among some of the best wine in the world. After all they have been making it for thousands of years. They should know how by now. We enjoyed several varietals, including reds and rose.

    This Food and Wine dinner was an explosion of flavors, one dish after the other. The wines were perfectly selected for each recipe, leaving us with a true "French" experience right in Tennessee.

    On the menu:

    Pate Maison
    Paired with a sparkling Rose

    Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Blackberry Barbeque Sauce
    Paired with a French Grenache

    Camamelized Onion Tart
    Paired with a Rose

    Scallops in cream sauce
    Coquilles Saint Jacque
    Paired with a Rose

    Paired with a Syrah

    Served with dessert wine

    Posted by terri at 03:03 AM | Comments (0)

    April 20, 2013

    Carrot Soufflé

    A souffle is a light and airy mixture that begins with egg yolk and lightened by stiffly beaten egg whits. This souffle is savory and is richly colored by the carrots. Souffles are usually baked in a class souffle dish that has round and straight sides to facilitate rising. Individual servings cook faster and are wonderful served for lunch with a Caesar salad and cheddar cheese biscuits.

    Serves 8


  • 2 pounds carrots, cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice


    Cook carrots in boiling salted water until tender, about 20 to 25 minutes; drain well and mash.

    Combine mashed carrots with remaining ingredients except for egg whites; mix well.

    Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into carrots. Pour into souffle dish or individual ramkins.

    For single soupffle dish: Bake at 400° for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° and bake 45 minutes longer.
    For individual ramkin dishes: Bake at 400° for 15 minutes

    Serve immediately

    Posted by terri at 02:38 AM | Comments (0)

    April 18, 2013

    Haricot Verts with Sesame Seeds and Oil

    This is another version of a recipe I posted several years ago. It lacks the soy sauce, getting its flavor from toasted sesame oil. It doesn't take much of the oil to create a lot of flavor.

    Serves 8
    Total time: 20 minutes


  • 1 pound green beans, washed and strings removed
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted


    In a large skillet, cook the garlic in the cooking oil over moderate heat, about 1 minute. Add the beans and toss to coat. Cook for 2 minutes.

    Add the chicken broth and cook until broth is nearly evaporated. Do not overcook the beans, they should be slightly crisp.

    Add the sesame oil and seeds and toss to coat.

    Season with salt and pepper

    Posted by terri at 03:34 AM | Comments (0)

    Haricot Verts with Citrus and Herbs

    Haricot Vert is French for green bean. When a recipe calls for haricot vert often young tender green beans are used whole. The prep time is reduced in this case making this a quick and easy side to prepare.

    Serves 8
    Total time: 20 minutes


  • 1 pound green beans, washed and strings removed
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  • ¾ teaspoon chopped rosemary
  • 1 orange, zest and juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste


    In a small bowl, combine the dill, rosemary, lemon zest and orange zest, season with salt and pepper.

    In a large skillet, on moderate heat, melt the butter and add the beans, cook 2 minutes. Add the garlic, cook about 1 minute. Do not overcook the beans, they should be slightly crisp. Add the herb mixture to skillet and cook additional 1 minute until fragrant. Stir in the orange and lemon juice and cook another 2 minutes. Serve warm as a side.
    Garnish with orange zest.

    Cooking Wiser:
    To save calories use 2 tablespoons cooking oil
    The green beans are great cold as a snack

    Make it your way
    Use any herbs for different flavors:
    omit rosemary
    replace above herbs with cilantro
    replace above herbs with basil and parsley

    Posted by terri at 03:31 AM | Comments (0)

    April 15, 2013

    Sun-Dried Tomato Biscuits with Sage and Sausage Gravy

    Sundried tomatoes are like tomatoes on steroids. They add rich flavor to every bite.

    Serves 4
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Total time 45 minutes



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, oil-packed, finely chopped


  • 1 pound sausage
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sage, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large leek, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup milk


    Make the biscuits: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease a baking sheet.

    In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Using a pastry blender cut the butter into the flour until it resembles small peas.

    In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk, onion, egg and sun-dried tomatoes. Stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour just until incorporated. Transfer the dough to a well floured surface and knead 2 or 3 times. Pat or roll the dough into a square about 3/4 inch thick. Cut dough into biscuits and place on baking sheet. Bake on the center rack for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.

    Make the Gravy: In a medium bowl, combine the sausage with the onion, 1 tablespoon of the parsley, the sage and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper.

    Scoop walnut sized balls of the sausage mixture onto a large plate.

    In a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the sausage balls and cook over moderately high heat until browned all over, about 5 minutes. Drain the sausage balls on a paper towel.

    Pour 1/4 cup of the fat back into the skillet. Add the leeks and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened about 5 minutes.

    Stir in the flour and cook, stirring until lightly golden about 2 minutes. Gradually stir in the stock and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened about 5 minutes. Top with milk and heat through.

    Return the sausage balls to the skillet and heat through. Season with salt and pepper and remaining parsley.

    Posted by terri at 03:02 AM | Comments (0)

    April 12, 2013

    Chorizo Enchiladas with Cheese Sauce

    Serves 4


    ½ pound fresh ground Mexican chorizo
    ½ pound pork sausage
    2 tablespoons cooking oil
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    1 small onion, finely chopped
    1 poblano pepper, diced
    1 teaspoon smoked ground paprika
    salt and pepper to taste
    4 (8 inch) corn tortillas
    For the cheese sauce:
    1 cup Cheddar cheese, grated (reserve some for top)
    1 ¼ cup milk
    2 tablespoons flour
    2 tablespoons butter
    ½ cup sour cream


    1. Heat oil in pan and cook chorizo. Remove chorizo from pan, leaving oil in pan.

    2. Add onions, peppers and garlic to pan and cook until tender.

    3. Add paprika and chorizo, stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste

    4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    For the cheese sauce:
    1. In a small saucepan heat milk to simmer. Melt butter in microwave and stir in flour. Whisk butter into warm milk and continue to stir until milk thickens.

    2. Add cheddar cheese and cook, stirring until cheese melts. Stir in sour cream and continue to heat until combined. Keep warm.

    3. Spoon ¼ of the mixture onto the center of a tortilla and roll it up to make an enchilada.

    4. Place in shallow baking dish large enough to hold enchiladas in a single layer

    5. Fill and roll the remaining tortillas and add them to the dish.

    6. Cover enchiladas with cheese sauce. Sprinkle additional cheese on top. Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbles.

    Sprinkle with additional paprika to garnish.

    Posted by terri at 04:30 AM | Comments (0)

    Jicama and Lime Salad

    Serves 4


    1 Jicama, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
    1 lime, juice and zest
    1 orange, juice and zest
    1 stalk celery, sliced
    1 cucumber, cut in half lengthwise
    1 fresh Serrano chile, seeded, thinly sliced
    2 radishes, julienned
    1 cup small cherry tomatoes


    1. Scoop out seeds from cucumber and dice
    2. Combine all ingredients together and toss to coat with salt and citrus juices
    3. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving

    Posted by terri at 04:25 AM | Comments (0)

    April 08, 2013

    Sautéed Plantains with Spiced Rum Sauce

    In the banana family, plantains are large,firm and best when cooked. They can be slightly bitter raw but when cooked they release their natural sugars resulting in a mild banana flavor.

    Serves 4


  • 2 ripe plantains
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • pinch cayenne pepper


    1. Peel the plantains, cut in half then cut each half in half lengthwise

    2. Melt the butter with the oil in a large frying pan.

    3. Add the plantains to the pan in a single layer and sauté for 6-8 minutes, turning halfway through.

    Spiced Rum Sauce
    Makes 1 cup


  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream cream
  • ¼ cup spiced rum or dark rum
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg


    1. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.

    2. Add brown sugar and stir until sugar melts and becomes smooth.

    3. Reduce the heat and add the cream and rum. Simmer until the sauce thickens about 5 minutes. Add cinnamon and nutmeg.

    Serve warm with plantains. Add whipped cream or ice cream to complete the dessert.

    Posted by terri at 04:04 AM | Comments (0)

    Mexican Hands on Cooking Class

    I love sharing cooking tips and new recipes with cooking enthusiasts and the best place to do that is in one of my cooking classes. This past year I taught my first hands on class. If you have a passion for cooking and you’re interested in a fast paced environment you would totally love this class. I had a great time watching the class participants create their own version of my recipes. Amazingly each of the 4 teams came up with something a little different even though they all had the same recipe. Wow factor. How could that happen and what did that tell me about how people interpret directions.

    It says that slice, dice and chop are pretty vague terms and sauté, simmer and steam could mean stir fry and boil to a novice chef. So I quickly realized I needed to sharpen my own skills and so I did. The results were rewarding. Each person brought their own level of skills and each team turned out delicious dishes and that equals success for any cooking instructor.

    See my recipes and their happy faces and yummy results.

    Sauteed Plantains in Rum Sauce

    Pork and Vegetable Tamales

    Grilled Goat Cheese Tortilla with Mango Salsa

    Chorizo Enchilada

    Posted by terri at 03:56 AM | Comments (0)

    April 04, 2013

    Pork Chops stuffed with Mom’s Cornbread Dressing

    I think the dressing is the best part of the Thanksgiving dinner.
    Mom always made more than we could eat- a sure guarantee there would be plenty left for the next day. I added dried cranberries, pecans and sausage to the dressing and stuffed thick cut pork chops and it was a hit! I hope you will enjoy both the dressing with the bird and with the pork.

    Serves 4
    Total time:1 hour

    Ingredients:/h3> 4 thick cut pork chops with pockets cut into them for stuffing

    For the dressing:

  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • ½ cup celery, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped
  • ½ tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cups crumbled corn bread
  • 3 cups seasoned croutons
  • 2-3 cups chicken broth
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

    Season the pork chops with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
    For the cornbread:

    Place the cornbread and croutons in a large bowl.

    In a large saute pan, melt the butter and sauté on medium heat the onion and celery until softened. Add the garlic and herbs. Heat for 3 more minutes.

    Add the onion mixture to the cornbread mixture.

    Moisten cornbread with the chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper.

    The dressing should be very moist about like wet dough.

    Use the dressing to stuff the pork chops, depending on size of chops you will on average need about 2 tablespoons stuffing for each one

    Place in stuffed chops in casserole dish. Place in oven and cook 15 minutes. Turn oven temperature to 350 and continue to cook until chops are done, being careful to check about every 10 mintues to avoid overcooking. Meat juices should run clear.

    Terri’s Tips:
    The dressing can be used to stuff a turkey, chicken, pork crown roast or pork chops.
    You will always increase cooking time with stuffing. Check for doneness with meat thermometer
    See chart for internal temperature for meats.

    Create your own
    Add 3-4 ounces cooked sausage for every cup of dressing

    1/2 cup fresh cranberries and ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans, or use 1/3 cup dried cranberries.

    Try adding 1 large tart apple, peeled, sliced and diced with the sausage. Be bold add apples, sausage, cranberries and walnuts. I also like dried apricots and pecans.

    Posted by terri at 03:30 AM | Comments (0)